" When Neil and I first went to Italy in 2007, I was completely undone by it all- the cuisine, the history and the pace of life. But for me it was something deeper than the museums and cathedrals. I knew that I belonged in Europe. I was convinced that I had been living someone else's life and that every woman I saw in Europe was living mine. I knew I needed to return as soon as I could. We came home, took Italian lessons, bought Italian cookbooks and fantasized constantly about living la dolce vita someday."
The bolded part especially, I swear if I had the patience to sift through my old travel journals (black, dusty, perfectly-tattered Moleskines because what else?), I would find a version of this exact sentiment. And though I don't want to give France credit for fear of retaliation from every Italian person I know, it was actually in Paris that I first knew I belonged in Europe. So I have to say a quick 'grazie' to France because in a way, many, many years ago, I also found myself there. And then I found my dolce vita.